The funds will be used to maintain programs created because of the first two years of the grant, said Scott Cowart, superintendent of Carroll County Schools.
“There have been lots of technology updates, more supplies and even added personnel,” Cowart said. “Parents are more engaged, and lots of good things are happening at Temple.”
The grant was originally awarded to Temple High after the state Department of Education determined the school was in the bottom five percent of high schools in the state, a determination based on test scores, attendance and graduation rates. Temple High was one of 36 schools eligible for the grant.
“Many good things are happening at the high school as it heads into the third year of the School Improvement Grant,” said Principal Karen Suddeth.
The school made mathematics and English language arts its targets, Cowart said, and test scores have improved over the past two years.
While the grant is set for three years, Cowart said it is not guaranteed that the school will receive the $1 million every year.
“They have to resubmit every year, and it’s something that is monitored and has its data checked for improvement,” he said.
Suddeth said there is a “variety of measures” such as student achievement, graduation rate and student attendance which are examined. Temple High had the highest cohort graduation rate of all grant schools in the state, the principal said.
The past two years, technology was brought into the classrooms and made significant improvements, Cowart said. Promethean boards can be used by students or teachers to write on while acting as a touch-screen computer screen and projection system. With the addition of ActiveExpression, teachers can immediately and anonymously poll students about what they’ve learned.
The available technology will continue to expand to additional classrooms this year, even after expanding last year.
“Classrooms have been outfitted with state of the art technology, and instructional coaches are in place to assist teachers with curriculum and technology,” Suddeth said.
Cowart praised the school on its improvements in parental engagement.
“This grant has allowed them to make significant improvement in parental involvement,” Cowart said. “They’ve improved the communication processes, making it easier to make better connections with parents. It’s a positive for the Temple community.”
Also due to the grant is the creation of small learning communities, which Cowart said assists students with different learning styles.
“These are things that wouldn’t be possible without the grant,” Cowart said.